URLs du Jour


  • Michael P. Ramirez imagines the GOP calling an impeachment trial witness.

    [I Know Nothing]

    Will anyone younger than 55 get this? For you young whippersnappers, here's a big hint.

  • At the Dispatch, Jonah Goldberg takes on Dersh and The Absurdity of the ‘He Didn’t Break a Law’ Defense.

    To live in a country where a president can do whatever he wants so long as he doesn’t violate some criminal statue, provable beyond the reasonable doubt required in criminal law, is a morally obtuse proposition. If the president routinely went on TV dropping racial epithets and anti-Semitic broadsides, he would be completely within his rights to do so. But I would like to think we live in a country where the democratically elected legislative branch would say, “this is unacceptable” regardless of what the criminal justice system has to say about it. 

    I think the best argument against Trump's impeachment and conviction is that his official behavior (as opposed to his loose-cannon Twittering) isn't that far out of whack with past presidents.

    Yes, I know that Democrats are massive hypocrites on this score. That's no excuse.

  • At Reason, Matt Welch describes The Corruptions of Talking Like Trump. Comparing and contrasting the statesmanlike behavior of (Republican) Senator Howard Baker in the Watergate hearings…

    What a different planet that political process is 46 years later. Baker's contemporary analog in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump—ranking House Intelligence Committee Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.)—marked the November 13 inauguration of those hearings not in the high-minded language of objectivity but the insult-comic vocabulary of the investigation's target: "In a July open hearing of this committee following publication of the Mueller Report, the Democrats engaged in a last-ditch effort to convince the American people that President Trump is a Russian agent," Nunes began. "That hearing was the pitiful finale of a three-year-long operation by the Democrats, the corrupt media, and partisan bureaucrats to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24, in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian, on July 25, they turned on a dime and now claimed the real malfeasance is Republicans dealing with Ukraine."

    Well, you have to laugh. Because otherwise you would have to cry.

  • Moving on to a different topic. Kevin D. Williamson looks at Momonomics at National Review.

    The fact that it is so economically difficult for most families to have one stay-at-home parent sometimes is presented as evidence that the economy isn’t working the way it should. Looked at another way, that’s exactly backward: Families find it much more difficult today to have a stay-at-home parent mostly because the labor market now values women’s labor much more highly than it once did.

    Economic justice is here, ladies. Enjoy it!

    It's a contrarian take, one you won't hear from any major, or even minor, politician. KDW goes on to note the folly of government policies to (a) make it easier to be a stay-at-home mom and (b) to make it easier to be a working mother, for instance by subsidizing child care and parental leave. As often happens, "policies" incentivizing in opposite directions.

  • I was thinking about this myself just the other day: [Iowa Senator Joni] Ernst Unveils Plan to Reduce Government Deficit. How?

    As candidates prepare to spend billions on the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) is working to put to use more than $300 million taxpayer dollars sitting idly in a public campaign fund.

    Presidential candidates today may request grants from the taxpayer-funded Presidential Election Campaign Fund to pay for campaign expenses. The fund has accumulated more than $350 million, as no major party candidates have requested public financing in the last 12 years. The Iowa senator has introduced a bill to abolish the fund and divert its money to pay down the national debt.

    Well, one possible objection: that "fund" was established by taxpayers who dutifully checked off a box on their 1040s expressing their wishes that $3 go to the fund. Silly, I know, to chip in money to a charity that even the alleged beneficiaries disdain.

    And $300 million is approximately 0.0013% of our (as I type) $23.2 trillion national debt. Joni, if you're going on a diet, people will laugh at you if you start by proudly proclaiming that you're only going to eat 99.9987% of that slice of cheesecake.

    (Is that sexist? Sorry.)

    Joni would have a better argument by concentrating on the real issue: the fund was a dumb idea that never fulfilled its anti-corruption promises.

  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for a Medium article by one Lyz Lenz: The Iowa Caucuses Are Going to Be a F*cking Nightmare.

    But caucusing is still a messy process. It happens in locations that are not always accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In large precincts, gyms, church sanctuaries, school auditoriums, and town halls are filled with people; the rooms can be warm, even suffocating. The caucuses begin at 7 p.m. on a weeknight and can take hours to complete, making them almost impossible to attend for those who are single parents — heck, any kind of parents — disabled, suffering from chronic illnesses, older, without cars, poor, night workers, or anyone who speaks English as a second language. Party officials still try to pack the caucuses with their favored supporters; in 2016, I remember busloads of Bernie Sanders supporters entering my precinct a few minutes before the caucuses began.

    Something had to change, but Iowa can’t switch to a primary without starting a war with New Hampshire, which has the first-in-the-nation primary and definitely wants to keep it that way. (Their state motto is “Live free or die,” so who wants to piss off those people?) Messing with the order threatens the power and influence of people whose power rests on a broken system.

    "Lyz" writes for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette. I previously blogged on one of her newspaper columns, but when she writes for Medium she can drop more f-bombs than the newspaper allows.

    She neglects to be specific about the "people whose power rests on a broken system". Her newspaper column was more specific, railing against "the power and influence of a few white people so desperate to cling to and justify their own relevancy that they’ll bring us all down with them".

    But please spare a few unkind words for the folks who economically benefit from all the IA/NH hoopla. There's the hospitality/travel industries of course. But the biggies are probably Big Local Ad-Selling Media: TV and radio stations.

    And of course newspapers.

    Such as Lyz's employer.

Blinded by the Light

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

The Great TV Drought of 2019-2020 is bringing in lots of Netflix DVDs. This one is a perfectly average, but utterly predictable, little movie from last year.

Javid is a Pakistani-descended teenage Brit living in Luton, England in the mid-to-late-1980s. Maggie Thatcher is the Prime Minister. Apparently Luton is an economically depressed hotbed of bigotry, because there's a lot of anti-"Paki" sentiment, and the fascist National Front, a nasty bunch of bigots, is depicted as having a strong presence.

Also, Javid's dad is kind of traditional (despite having emigrated his family out of Pakistan years ago). He looks forward to arranging Javid's marriage someday, and setting him on a nice safe career of office professionalism.

Between bigotry and family oppression, Javid's kind of put upon. But he finds meaning when a Sikh friend gives him a couple of Springsteen cassettes. He gets inspirational life advice (and also fashion tips) from the Boss. (His peers are mostly into newer artists.)

Dude, I was a Springsteen fanboy back then too. But I never thought that "Blinded By The Light" was anything more than Bruce's effort to string together a lot of nonsensical rhyming. ("With a very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing, the calliope crashed to the ground." Fun, but … please.)

Anyway: does Javid manage to navigate his Bruce-inspired way to a better life? Well, of course he does.

Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell, plays an encouraging English teacher. There are a lot of cheap shots at Thatcher, and even a few at Ronald Reagan. Tedious.

Last Modified 2022-10-17 5:37 PM EDT